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Search and Rescue Teams Saving Lives in Texas

Release Date: August 27, 2017

For Immediate Release
FEMA News Desk
Phone: 202-646-3272

WASHINGTON – Federal, state, and local search and rescue teams are operating 24/7 to reach those stranded in flooded areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has more than 400 Urban Search and Rescue (US&R) personnel working to save lives in south Texas. Another 500-plus personnel are in the state and are expected to be performing rescues this evening.  National US&R teams, located across the United States, are trained and equipped to handle structural collapses and swift water rescues.

State and local officials are asking those in the impacted area to please remember:

  • Stay calm, do not panic.
  • Do not go into your attic – rescuers from the air cannot see you.
  • Safely seek higher ground if able to do so; get to a safe place.
  • Safely mark your roof to be seen by the air. To get rescuers’ attention, wave sheets, towels etc.

If you feel your life is in danger, call 911. First responders are not responding to requests for assistance received through social media, so if you cannot get through to 911 at first, keep calling.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has also stated that if you are in need of immediate rescue you can call them at the following numbers:

  • 281-464-4851
  • 281-464-4852
  • 281-464-4853
  • 281-464-4854
  • 281-464-4855

The Coast Guard has over 420 personnel conducting operations in south Texas, with 16 helicopters in the air and 8 more inbound. As of 3 p.m. EDT today, the Coast Guard has confirmed rescues of more than 2,000 multi-person cases in the Houston-Galveston area.

The Coast Guard also has an additional nine teams onsite doing shallow water rescues. More information on USCG rescue operations is available on their website at: http://www.news.uscg.mil/Texas/.

For more information about Hurricane Harvey, go to: www.fema.gov/hurricane-harvey.

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Last Updated: 02/05/2021
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